The United States has survived over two centuries because we have had men and women who signed a contract with our government. A contract to protect and defend their country from all enemies – foreign and domestic. While your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker has the greatest respect for all members of our armed services, active duty and retired, there is a very special place in his heart for those who have been awarded the Medal of Honor. So today, he shares a story of heroism from the Second World War.
Pfc. Frederick C. Murphy – Profile of Courage
Unit: Medical Detachment, 259th Infantry, 65th Infantry Division Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts Date of Birth: July 27, 1918 Date of Death: March 19, 1945 Place of Death: Saarlautern, Germany (Siegfried Line) Final Resting Place: Saint Laurent, France
Medal of Honor Citation:
An aid man, he was wounded in the right shoulder soon after his comrades had jumped off in a dawn attack 18 March 1945, against the Siegfried Line at Saarlautern, Germany. He refused to withdraw for treatment and continued forward, administering first aid under heavy machinegun, mortar and artillery fire. When the company ran into a thickly sown antipersonnel minefield and began to suffer more and more casualties, he continued to disregard his own wound and unhesitatingly braved the danger of exploding mines, moving about through heavy fire and helping the injured until he stepped on a mine which severed one of his feet. In spite of his grievous wounds, he struggled on with his work, refusing to be evacuated and bleeding profusely. He was killed by the blast of another mine which he had dragged himself across in an effort to reach still another casualty. With indomitable courage, and unquenchable spirit of self-sacrifice and supreme devotion to duty which made it possible for him to continue performing his tasks, while barely able to move, Pfc. Murphy saved many of his fellow soldiers at the cost of his own life.
Thank you Pfc. Murphy for your courage and intrepidity on the Siegfried Line in World War II. Your actions went far above the call of duty. Today, there are children and grandchildren who would have never known the freedom of the United States without your actions. The Grey Beard Biker salutes you, sir!
The Grey Beard Biker has written several articles on the National Rifle Association recently. The NRA is still very important to gun owners across the United States, but right now it continues to remain in a state of pure chaos. This needs to be remedied quickly, as we are heading swiftly into the 2020 General Election season.
Controversies Galore at the NRA
In my last article, which you can read HERE, I had outlined the most glaring issues/controversies this once proud organization is dealing with:
New York Attorney General’s lawsuit
Lawsuit and counter lawsuit with previous president, Oliver North
Lavish spending by NRA leadership – especially Wayne LaPierre
Culture of fear within the employee ranks
Underfunded employee pension plan
These all represent trouble on the flanks of the NRA and are inevitably causing members to walk away – which may be the most significant hurdle they face. Additionally, they have lost their focus – which should be exclusively protecting the Second Amendment.
I follow Gun Talk and read an interesting article industry icon Tom Gresham penned last week. This article really sums up what I have been writing about over my past three blog posts on the NRA. It is worth quoting:
Gun Talk News, “Wayne Must Go”
“The leaders at the NRA and I’m talking about YOU, the board of directors, as well as the hired help, have spent years … decades … setting up a system which gives key people massive financial rewards. In my view, it’s at least malfeasance, and it might even be corruption. Monster salaries, private jets, slush funds, insane budgets spent on TV shows, as well as PR and advertising campaigns designed to do nothing more than generate more funds which can be siphoned off for dubious programs…”
“It has greatly jeopardized what most members believe should be the NRA’s core mission – protecting the Second Amendment and our gun rights. In fact, it looks as though the leadership has subverted the core mission into just making themselves rich.”
“LaPierre now is a symbol of this financial meltdown. In short, no matter what is done, if he remains in this post (or has any role at the NRA), it is utterly impossible to restore the trust of the membership.”
The Grey Beard Biker is an Endowment Life Member of the NRA. He also agrees with Tom Gresham. The membership of the NRA cannot regain trust in the organization with LaPierre at the helm. While he may not be singularly responsible for all of the troubles the organization faces today, he is the executive running the ship there. The buck stops with him.
There are some grass roots efforts taking place to right the NRA ship – most notably, Save the 2A. I encourage you to go to their website and sign up for updates from them. Read their list of necessary fixes. If you agree with them, sign and mail their petition right away (mine is in the mail). The first petition is to set minimum attendance requirements for board members and must be received by Save the 2A in the next ten days.
The NRA is a big organization, which used to have deep pockets. Setting minimum attendance requirements for their board of directors is a start. But in the Grey Beard Biker’s opinion, no amount of fixes will right the ship as long as Wayne is running the NRA. It is time to retire, sir.
It’s happening right before our very eyes. America is in a state of decay. What happened to our great country? Our Founding Fathers, nearly 2 1/2 centuries ago, took 13 small British colonies and declared them independent of the British throne. They knew that the throne would consider them traitors and that they may all swing from the nearest tree. But these brave men created the greatest country on the face of the earth. Since then, we cleansed ourself from the shackles of slavery – with a loss of nearly 10% of our men – in the Civil War, fought fascism and Nazism in Europe and became the world’s greatest superpower. The Patriots who founded our country, and those who paid the supreme sacrifice to promote freedom, must be ashamed of what we have become.
Main Stream Media
One need look no further than the current Main Stream Media (MSM) to see the decay. While they claim to be presenting the news, nearly everything they report as “real” news is shrouded in a blanket of ideology. Their ratings have continued to decline over the past decade, but their followers believe what they spew because it validates their own beliefs. This is not journalism – this is the promotion of one political viewpoint over another – which is not American.
This same MSM provides a platform for politicians they agree with: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, Ilhan Omar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and all the other leftist politicians. Some of those they are providing a microphone to preach anti-American garbage, anti-Semitic trash and socialist doctrine. These politicians do not hold the same views as the average American and are chipping away at what has made America great for over 200 years.
Their policies promote open borders, expansion of the welfare state, Medicare for All, free secondary education and the slow erosion of our Second Amendment. They cannot win on the battlefield of ideas. Their platform is hollow and revolves around class warfare, racism and redistribution of wealth. Simply put, they have to give things away to receive votes. Unfortunately, the entitlements they promote will come at a punitive cost to the American taxpayer.
Antifa is a stain on the great fabric of our country. While peaceful protests and civil disobedience have been key to the advancement of our great nation, Antifa represents neither. Antifa is an acronym for Anti-Fascist and represents a broad militant group. Fascism, according to Merriam-Webster, is defined as:
“A political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.”
Nazism during Adolph Hitler’s formation of the Third Reich has many of the same traits as fascism: nation above its people, centralized autocratic government, a dictatorial leader and suppression of opposition.
Antifa claims to be anti-fascist, often trying to suggest President Donald J. Trump is a fascist, but this is simply not true. Trump is not a fascist. He does not forcibly suppress those who disagree with him. Rather, he calls out his opposition to ensure the people understand what he is dealing with. He is not in charge of an autocratic government. He is the chief executive of a government which still has three distinct branches. Lastly, Trump does not promote the government over the people. He understands that the government is the subject of the people and not the other way around.
Antifa, on the other hand, is fascist in nearly every way. While their chosen name may lead one to believe they are truly anti-fascist, their actions do not support that position. They are protesting a government in which the people vote their legislators and president into office – far from an autocratic form of government. Unlike in a fascist government, the President of the United States can only serve two terms. Antifa members have become violent against many of those they protest, recently beating up a gay reporter, confronting Pro-Life marchers, attacking Trump supporters and blocking traffic. This is nothing like the civil disobedience Henry David Thoreau promoted from Walden Pond. Lastly, they claim to be against white supremacy but come to their protests behind masks – much like the Ku-Klux-Klan did during the 19th and early20th centuries. This is unacceptable in a country which was built upon providing its citizens the freedoms enumerated in our Bill of Rights.
Indoctrination of the People
The Democrats having been losing in the arena of ideas since the Ronald Reagan years. Since the election of William Jefferson Clinton as president, this country has been moving more towards a far-left ideology – one drip at a time. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack H. Obama are disciples of the teachings of Saul Alinksky. Alinsky was the first “community organizer” and wrote the book, “Rules for Radicals” – which provides the modern Democrat Party many of the tactics they use today. The current hatchling of Democrat 2020 hopefuls, and their minions in congress, have not mastered all of Alinsky’s Rules, but some of them they have. Grey Beard has graded their mastery of each one:
Power is not what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have:B- (they attempt to show their power, but the majority of Americans still recognize them as weak – especially on the laws of the land)
Never go outside the experience of your people:D– (they are constantly failing here – with the same tired old faces spewing the same old hatred)
Whenever possible, go outside the experience of your enemy: C- (Trump usually has them tongue tied and resorting to the same old talking points)
Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon:B+ (Ridicule and class warfare is literally the only thing many of them are accomplished at)
A good tactic is one that your people enjoy:A- (Their people love to see them attack Trump, capitalism and religion)
A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag:F (Their call for impeachment and continued investigations of Russian Collusion is way beyond its expiration date – move on already)
Keep the pressure on:B (One must give them credit – they are trying)
The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself:C (most of their plans are still quite terrifying to Patriots)
The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition:B (They have been building their organization through societal indoctrination for many years)
If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive:B (Medicare for all is a good example of their success – the more moderate Democrats have been slowly coming around to this)
The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative:C- (This may be the least understood of Alinsky’s Rules – the newest socialist members are trying to do this by throwing out something really unacceptable – like the Green New Deal – with the more moderate Dems offering a compromise which a short time ago no one would have ever seriously considered – this is perhaps the most dangerous of the Rules)
Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it:A+ (Credit where credit is due – the Left has built an entire political agenda around attacking Trump and impeaching him)
Grey Beard Biker’s Summary
Do not underestimate the power these far-left ideologues have to fundamentally change our country. For years they have been formulating their tactics and have quietly worked to take over our education system, starting with the most malleable in society: our children. The leftists knew this was a long-term play – sowing the minds of these children would take a great deal of time before bearing fruit. Today’s Millennials represent a bumper crop for the Left. They have been patient, and unfortunately, they have succeeded in brainwashing an entire generation. All of us Patriots need to start taking these young people back. The risk of not doing so is beyond grave.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position where you have to defend yourself with lethal force, your continued freedom will depend on whether the police, prosecutors and courts believe all five of these components were properly met. If there is any doubt in their minds, that each one was met, your legal team will have to convince a jury that you did in fact meet them.
Reasonableness of your actions is judged both objectively and subjectively. In the event that the police turn your case over to the prosecuting attorney, objective reasonableness will primarily be determined by interviews with witnesses, physical evidence – and if the case goes to court – testimony by expert witnesses. Subjective reasonableness is primarily going to be determined by your actions and any statements you make (Hint: a subject of an upcoming article). Let’s examine both of these.
Objective reasonableness is an imaginary litmus test. Essentially, it implores someone to consider if a reasonable person would make the same decisions and take the same actions you did if in exactly the same situation.
This imaginary person is a law-abiding citizen, does not have anger issues, does not do drugs and never drinks to excess. He/she would be cautious by nature. Average in every way, he/she would not have above average intelligence or super human strength.
When considering objective reasonableness, the police and district attorney may well transfer your physical characteristics to the imaginary person. If you are old, frail, small or handicapped you would likely fear for your life more quickly than a healthy man in his mid-20s. As such, a lower threshold would have to be exceeded before you began to become fearful and the fight-or-flight instinct kicked in – that point in time when you believed the threat was imminent.
In a self-defense case the court may also allow Mr. Reasonable to have specialized knowledge which you possess. A good example would be if you knew the person was extremely violent, unstable or had a reputation as a vicious fighter. If you were to find yourself in a position where he was coming quickly at you with clenched fists, and in an obvious rage, you may believe the threat to be imminent more quickly than if you did not have this specialized knowledge. Having this knowledge transferred to Mr. Reasonable is only fair because a reasonable person with such knowledge would be more likely to react quickly.
Other specialized knowledge, such as your previous understanding of the Tueller Drill (for more information see the article on Imminence) can be passed to Mr. Reasonable – and he, like you – will know that a knife wielding man is an imminent threat at 21 feet – which may not seem reasonable to everyone. But if you were to find yourself in court, you will most likely need to prove that you knew this before you used lethal force. Owning a book which cites the Tueller Drill, with a receipt, would be proof. Attending a self-defense class, prior to the incident, which provided information on the Tueller Drill may well suffice as proof.
If Mr. Reasonable would have taken the same actions you did, you have passed the litmus test for objective reasonableness. But that does not mean you are out of the “proverbial woods” yet.
Subjective reasonableness takes into consideration all of the things you did and said. Just because Mr. Reasonable would have acted like you did, from an objective standpoint, if you did not believe you were innocent, there was not an imminent threat or your actions were not proportional, you are at risk of not passing the subjective reasonableness test. You may be wondering, “How would the police or prosecutor know I did not believe this if I did not tell them?” This is where your statement to the police may come into play. If you were to say, “I was not afraid for my life,” or “I could have taken him with my fists,” you are in jeopardy of losing your self-defense claim because there was not an imminent threat and your actions were not proportional to your perception of the threat.
Other things which can cause police and prosecutors to fail your self-defense claim, due to subjective reasonableness, would be running from the scene, hiding from police or tampering with evidence. These actions will immediately cause them to believe you were not the innocent party.
In closing, remember that you must be able to prove the following to claim self-defense: you are INNOCENT, you believed there was an IMMINENT threat of death or serious injury, your use of force was PROPORTIONAL, there was no reasonable avenue of AVOIDANCE and a REASONABLE person would have taken the same actions.
Note: Neither the Grey Beard Biker or Michael are an attorney. While he has been involved in self-defense for many years, this article is provided for informational purposes only. Check with an attorney to understand your state’s laws.
This article was originally published in Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky magazine and is used with permission. It was written by Michael Noirot – a/k/a the Grey Beard Biker.
Other articles in this series can be read by clicking on the following links:
New England has always been a favorite travel destination for your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker. Some of the most scenic and idyllic small towns in the United States are in New England. The area is chock full of historic sites, rocky points on the Atlantic Ocean and GREAT motorcycle roads.
Last June, we rode to The Race of Gentlemen, in Wildwood, New Jersey. It was our first stop on our big summer vacation on the CVO Limited. Stop two was Laconia, for the 95th anniversary of Laconia Motorcycle Week. LMW is the longest running bike rally in the United States. While we were there, besides taking in Bike Week, we made plans for two rides: the coast of Maine and the Kancamagus Highway.
About the Kancamagus Highway
Running east-west, New Hampshire Route 112 (Kancamagus Hwy) spans roughly 40 miles between Conway and Benton, New Hampshire – nearly traversing the entire width of the state. Cutting a path through the White Mountain National Forest, the Kancamagus Highway offers scenic vistas (with plenty of pull-offs for pictures), one tight switchback and plenty of big sweeping curves. The speed limit is much too low for this Grey Beard Biker, but does allow for some gawking across the valleys. This post contains several pictures from the area, and two GoPro videos from the ride. If you are in the area, make sure to also take time to ride to the summit of Mount Washington. The ride up this 6,200 feet will provide plenty of “white knuckle” moments!
The Grey Beard Biker is not exactly asking this question rhetorically. We use Google, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest all the time. And while Google is not directly a social media platform any longer, their wholly-owned subsidiary, YouTube, is. These companies have tremendous power to influence huge portions of our population – and for that matter – the world’s population.
Fake News, Media and Political Bias
You may have found a link to this opinion piece via Facebook. It is a great platform to reach people with similar interests, be it riding motorcycles, sharing great motorcycle roads, gun talk or politics. But platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have the ability through their unique recipes of algorithms to throttle back posts which they do not necessarily agree with. By reducing the audience for a post your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker makes, and filling your newsfeed with articles they agree with, they hold immense power over all of us.
Facebook, the mainstream media and even newspaper sites never seem to tire of pushing things to a public which in most cases don’t know they’re being duped. This is always most blatant when it comes to political news and polling data. Do you remember how badly Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald J. Trump in the 2016 election? Every mainstream media poll showed Hillary beating him, and most likely in a landslide. Of course, when it did not happen they looked for ways to discredit his administration and make him the accidental president. He isn’t.
Is Google Dangerous?
Because the Grey Beard looks far and wide for news which might be of interest to you, he dug up some scathing information on Google – a company which has revenues of nearly $100 billion per year. A company we use nearly everyday when we go online. A company which knows more about each of us than our own families do.
Project Veritas has become synonymous with blowing up campaigns of politicians by embedding people in campaign offices. Once there, they will secretly record video/audio of campaign staffers talking about their opposition, lies the candidates have made on the campaign trail and other less than savory details about the politician. Project Veritas singlehandedly brought down two U.S. Senate campaigns last year in Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Phil Bredesen (D-TN).
Now, Project Veritas is doing it again with tech-companies. Recently they posted information about Google which should scare the Hell out of anyone who values privacy and most importantly – the TRUTH. But, Project Veritas has recruited whistleblowers at not just Google, but their fully owned subsidiary, YouTube. The revelations which have come from these people are beyond scary. I will share links to the actual articles Project Veritas has written, where you can also find video of a Google executive being secretly recorded. But here are just a few of the things which they have uncovered:
Here is a quote from Jen Gennai, Google’s Head of Responsible Innovation (what kind of Orwellian title is that?):
“Elizabeth Warren is saying we should be break up Google. And like, I love her but she’s very misguided, like that will not make it better, it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources which we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it’s like a small company cannot do that.” – Jen Gennai
What she is obviously referring to is another Trump victory in 2020. At least she is willing to say that Democrat Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, is misguided. Most all people recognized that several years ago.
As the Project Veritas article goes on to describe, Jen Gennai is responsible for evaluating “responsible” implementation of Google’s upcoming Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. These technologies will allow Google’s algorithms to filter out news, whether true or not, that could lead to what Ms. Gennai went on to say:
“We all got screwed in 2016, again it wasn’t just us, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over so we’re rapidly been like, what happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again?”
“We’re also training our algorithms, like if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?” – Jen Gennai, Google executive
Grey Beard will spare you some of the complex details, which you can read in the linked article, but rest assured, what they are after is a “fair and equitable state!” With their “Machine Learning Fairness,” Google will be promoting a political agenda by using their algorithms to restrict what we see in their search results and news articles. Ms. Gennai continued,
“The reason we launched our A.I. principles is because people were not putting that line in the sand, that they were not saying what’s fair and what’s equitable so we’re like, well we are a big company, we’re going to say it.” – Jen Gennai – Google executive
Grey Beard Biker’s conclusions
Ms. Gennai, we are not automatons. We can all make our own decisions about what is “fair and equitable.” While the Grey Beard Biker does not agree with Elizabeth Warren often, now he does. Google is too big and too powerful. They have too much information on me, and everyone else. Your plans to use machine learning to restrict the information I want to find is as scary as using genetic engineering to make sure your next child is a girl, with blond hair and blue eyes. Grey Beard, for one, hopes that the inevitable testimony your company provides to our legislators will lead to the breakup of Google.
Watch for more posts, in the not too distant future, about Google and it’s subsidiary, YouTube. You are in for a shock!
This past Thursday we celebrated the 243rd birthday of the United States of America. Your every lovable Grey Beard Biker was camping with friends on the 4th of July which is why there have not been any new posts published. Riding back home this morning gave me time to think about our great country and what it means to call the USA home.
Riding motorcycles is very similar to celebrating our country’s freedom -especially when the motorcycle you ride is a Harley-Davidson Electraglide. The freedom of the road, especially when on two wheels, is something which a non-rider could never understand. This is very similar to how people living in other countries do not understand what it means to be an American. Many people dream about riding, just as many people dream of becoming a citizen of the United States.
Freedom Isn’t Free
Since the Revolutionary War we have paid for our Freedom in blood. Twice, we fought the British here in the United States. Once we fought ourselves to rid our country of slavery and bring Freedom to all Americans. We have fought two World Wars to wipe out fascism. Now we continue to fight against terrorism and radical fundamentalists. Sometimes it is hard to understand why we find ourselves embroiled in a conflict, but we must remember that Freedom is the very bedrock of our country – and our Freedom can be destroyed from the outside – or from the inside.
But, in the Grey Beard Biker’s opinion our country is losing its way. Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, we were taught to take responsibility for our actions. We started working at a young age to pay for the things we wanted. We were taught to respect our elders. We might debate those with differing opinions, but we respected everyone.
Things are not this way today – especially with younger generations. Personal responsibility has not been taught to so many young people. While there are some enterprising millennials, there are a great deal of the youngest adult generation who expect things to be given to them. They do not want to do what us Baby Boomers did – work hard for the things you want and need. Intolerance has replaced respect. Today, you see this manifested in the group, Antifa.
Anitfa – a homegrown terrorist group?
Antifa, who’s motto is Anti-Fascist Action/Smash Fascism/Abolish Capitalism, has become ever more violent in their protests. While they are a loosely organized group, they are united in their hatred of the Freedoms we enjoy here in the United States. They have demonstrated through their very actions that some of the basic freedoms provided in our Bill of Rights’ First Amendment: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association and Freedom to Assemble only apply to those who believe in the same things they do. This intolerance in itself is a fascist tenet. Stifling the Freedoms of others you do not agree with is part of this group’s playbook. While the group is not directly endorsed by either political party, the left has quietly embraced many of the same beliefs – illegal immigration, free college tuition, access to abortion up to the point of birth and reparations. This cannot be allowed to continue. Antifa needs to be categorized as what it is: a domestic terrorist organization. They are getting more violent with each passing riot, they wear masks over their faces and they confront other groups they do not agree with – some even recently throwing “cement milkshakes” at the groups they oppose. This behavior is not even remotely American.
Let Freedom Ring
We must protect the values of our great country. The United States has always been considered the Shining City upon the Hill. Today, we have thousands of illegal immigrants trying to subvert our immigration laws. The reason these people are willing to risk their lives to get here is because of our freedoms. But without laws, law enforcement and proper judicial adjudication, we will continue to spiral towards anarchy. Unfortunately, our Democratically led U.S. Congress cannot get out of its own way. The only thing they are united on is impeding President Trump. Things we used expect our legislators to come together on – illegal immigration, freedom of speech and protecting our citizens – are part of a bygone era. There is currently a race by the Democrat presidential candidates to give away the most things for free. What ever happened to working to better yourself? What ever happened to personal responsibility? We can no longer accept what these politicians want to do to our great Republic. We must demand that these people do the people’s work. Reach out to your elected officials and demand that they do what they were elected to do – get things done for their constituents.
Your whiskery, ever lovable Grey Beard Biker does some of his best thinking early in the morning while sipping his coffee. And while he may not be very talkative early in the morning, he thinks he is quite wise at this time of the day. This morning, reflecting on last week’s Democrat Presidential Debates, one thing which kept spinning around the cobwebs of his mind was their prophetic calls for “Commonsense Gun Reforms.” This group of 20+ wannabes are so damn predictable. Whether it’s student loan forgiveness, healthcare for all, reparations for the downtrodden, government funded abortions or commonsense gun reform they all spout the same stupid talking points.
But the Grey Beard is getting ahead of himself. Having read the linked article yesterday, on Personal Defense World, he was reminded of the Bullet Points article he wrote for the July issue of Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky magazine. You see, when GBB wrote this article in mid-June, he was obviously being quite prescient about what would be said in last week’s debates. Let’s examine the July 2019 Bullet Points article (reprinted here with permission)….
Second Amendment – Danger On Our Flanks
Hello, fellow bikers. Greetings from middle Tennessee. Today, as I write my monthly article for Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky, I am preparing to take a Father’s Day ride. Father’s Day is among my favorite holidays, only being surpassed by Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. It is a day to reflect on our fathers and grandfathers.
Speaking of reflecting, all of us Second Amendment loving Patriots need to reflect on the current state of political duress facing each of us. We definitely need to be involved in our political process as we are currently facing a serious threat on our flanks. Look no further than the current slate of 23(?) Democrats who have officially announced their candidacy for their party’s presidential nomination. All of these candidates will have a chance over the coming months to state their positions – and all of them have a position on the Second Amendment. Let’s look at some:
Joe Biden’s (D-DE) official position on guns is that he wants universal background checks, bans on “assault rifles” and adoption of finger print activated “smart guns.” While on the stump, in May, he admitted that the “Second Amendment exists,” but it doesn’t mean, “[everyone is] entitled to own a gun.”
Corey Booker (D-NJ) is proposing a national (Federal) gun licensing program which would impose minimum standards for gun ownership across the country. Prospective gun owners would have to apply for a license, and sit for an interview, in much the same way one applies for a passport. Additionally, universal background checks and assault weapon bans are part of Booker’s wish list.
Pete Buttigieg (D-IN) is also promoting far reaching gun regulations including such “common sense” reforms as holding the gun industry responsible for gun violence, banning “military” assault rifles and the establishment of a nationwide gun licensing system.
Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) is proud of her NRA “F” rating and touting it on her own campaign website, where she calls for passing universal background checks – which would inevitably require national gun registration – closing gun sale loopholes (which don’t exist) and banning assault style weapons.
Kamala Harris (D-CA) is making executive action the centerpiece of her plans on gun control, where she would implement “near universal background checks,” revoking gun manufacturers’ licenses (which they don’t need today) and require anyone selling more than five guns per year to obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
John Hickelooper (D-CO) also promotes his NRA “F” rating, promoting a policy on gun reform which will include universal background checks, national gun licensing, raising the national age for gun purchases to 21, restricting magazine capacities, banning all assault rifles and providing Federal grants to states which pass “Red Flag” laws.
Eric Swalwell (D-CA) states that he will no longer turn a blind eye to gun violence, proposing “truly” universal background checks, for guns and ammunition, push states to enact “gun violence restraining orders” and remove all “weapons of war” (code speak for those scary black assault rifles) from our communities, “once and for all.” This created a Twitter firestorm, where Joe Biggs Tweeted, “So basically Swalwell wants a war… You’re outta your fucking mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the gov all the power.” Swalwell, in true gun grabber speak, quickly responded to Biggs, Tweeting, “And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit.”
Now, this is nothing new for leftist politicians. They have been after our guns for a very long time. But the biggest threat is that they are listening more carefully to a media which is unhinged when it comes to guns. A media which neither understands gun owners, how guns work or the current Federal requirements of background checks. This is setting up a very dangerous dichotomy which blurs what we have today to what their Utopian societal dreams truly are. They cloak most of their proposals in the grossly overused phrase, “common sense gun reform.” But please don’t be fooled by anything any one of these candidates refer to as common sense. They totally prove the adage, “common sense is not so common” today.
The Grey Beard Biker realizes that the General Election of 2020 is still a long way in the future. Do not be lured into thinking their proposals are not an imminent threat. The politicians running to lead our state and Federal governments are attracting growing numbers of supporters who believe government should be larger. That the government should provide the things we have provided ourselves for generations: health care insurance, free college tuition, free abortions and student loan forgiveness. These people also want a country free of any reference to God, a country where free speech is limited to those whom they agree with, a country where the government sanctions killing babies – even after they’re born, a country where everyone – including the dead and illegal aliens – can vote – as long as they vote for them. But most importantly they want a country free of guns – unless you are an ultra-rich celebrity, politician, athlete, philanthropist, or Democrat/Socialist donor. Then you can own guns for the times you leave your walled compound with your armed gestapo. Do not let them take our country, brothers and sisters. Act today. Talk to your children and young people around you. The fight is here. Entertain your Grey Beard Biker as he dissects some of their stupid ideas:
Universal Background Checks
Every time a heinous crime is committed with a firearm – be it a pistol or rifle – the gun grabbers reiterate their call for universal background checks. These anti-freedom politicians never even wait for the victims’ bodies to cool before they step up to a supportive press to call for “commonsense gun reform” – which is followed immediately by a fresh call for universal background checks.
So what would a universal background check bill entail? First, universal background checks would require background checks on sales of firearms between individuals. Today, private sales do not require a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealer to perform a NICS (NationalInstant Criminal Background CheckSystem) be run by the FBI before the transfer. With a universal background check bill in place, a father could not give his son a shotgun for Christmas!
What those Leftists proposing universal background checks know, but will never admit, is that universal background checks cannot work without one very critical component: a gun registry. Without the gun registry the government would have no idea who owns which guns. They would have no way to enforce background checks between individuals without the registry.
You must recognize they position new regulations as commonsense, knowing they will have to come back and enact more stringent laws to enforce their simple, commonsense gun reforms. This is their way of slowly moving further to the left, one little commonsense gun reform at a time. It’s kind of like dropping a frog in boiling water. He will jump right out. But if you put him in water and slowly bring it to a boil, the poor frog won’t realize he is the main course until he is well on the way to be cooked. Sooner or later, that dripping faucet will fill a pool. Drip, drip, drip, drip…
Never forget that their ultimate goal is to get rid of all guns. The universal background check will lead to a gun registry which is necessary for them to create their Utopian Society – free of all guns. Without the gun registry, they do not know where the guns are. With it, they know exactly where to send their gestapo to confiscate all of our guns.
Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO)
While not part of every Leftist wannabe president’s platform, they all support Extreme Risk Protection Orders – better known as Red Flag Laws. Several states have already passed such laws: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. No surprise here. These leftist states are all against personal freedom when it comes to the Second Amendment. Designed to temporarily remove guns from someone who poses an immediate threat to themselves or a spouse, these laws may seem “commonsense.” Everyone can agree that someone can suffer a temporary lack of judgment during a breakup, financial crisis or custody fight. This could lead them to do something horrendous which they would never normally do. The problem with these ERPOs is how they are obtained.
ERPOs are obtained by a family member, friend, neighbor or acquaintance going to a judge and asking for the order, Ex Parte. Ex parte means that the person being accused is not present. The judge will make a decision to remove someone’s firearms based solely on testimony of an individual without speaking with the accused being interviewed. This is fraught with pitfalls. What if the person requesting the ERPO is themselves a gun owner and is actually the person planning to use the firearm illegally? By obtaining the Red Flag order, the police will go and remove the only protection the accused has against the person who is a risk, leaving them with no means of protection. Lastly, who decides when the person deemed an Extreme Risk can get their property back. Without equal protection under the law, these ERPOs are dangerous. The Grey Beard Biker could get behind these laws if they offer both parties parity in protection.
Assault Weapon Bans & Restrictions on Magazine Capacities
These two gun grabber proposals do not need a lot of examination from your Grey Beard Biker. First, the scary black assault rifles the leftists propose to either ban or confiscate are no different than the common semi-automatic hunting rifles in gun safes across the country. They want to define them by simple cosmetic accoutrements like pistol grips, forearm stocks or collapsible butt stocks. But, at the end of the day, these two guns operate the same – one bullet fired with each trigger pull. A true assault rifle – or “weapon of war” – has a select fire switch – offering single shot, three round burst or fully automatic fire. These firearms are already highly controlled and have not been used in any mass shootings.
Restrictions on high-capacity magazines are not affective in reducing the body count of a determined madman. With practice, swapping magazines can be quickly done – even in an extreme stress situation. One need just remember the Virginia Tech shooter who used common semi-automatic pistols to kill 33 people! Pushing either of these commonsense gun laws will prove folly and will do nothing to prevent the next mass shooting.
Ammo restrictions are something which were nearly unthinkable three years ago. Today, several states have enacted laws which require background checks to purchase ammunition, limits on how much can be purchased, how often purchases can be made and how much ammunition you can possess at one time. The states with the most restrictive ammunition laws are California and New York who require background checks at the point-of-purchase. But other liberal states are not missing the chance to limit your personal freedoms. Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey all require ammunition purchasers to pass a background check to obtain a license to buy ammunition. These are prime examples of leftist gun grabbing laws designed to keep law abiding gun owners from exercising their rights, as codified by God and the Second Amendment. The current laws in these states will do absolutely nothing to prevent gun violence.
Interviews with murderers and gangbangers in prison have proven that these people are not buying guns and ammunition legally at a local gun store or big-box retailer. They get their stuff illegally on the street. But, mark Grey Beard Biker’s words, every one of these candidates will support background checks on ammunition sales and limits on how much ammo a person can possess. Swalwell has already come out and said he supports this restriction. In fact, his state, California has already passed such a law. These laws are more about taxing people than making our streets safer.
Grey Beard Biker Recommendations
Ranting about stupid leftist gun grabber proposals is not something Grey Beard will do without offering recommendations which make sense and which will reduce potential body counts. So here are some Grey Beard Biker Approved Commonsense things our legislators can do now:
Enforce current laws regarding FFL background checks and prosecute everyone who lies on form 4473 to attempt an illegal gun purchase – this includes straw purchasers, those who lie about current orders of protection, previous felonies or previous dishonorable discharges from the military
Require every state to immediately report commitments to inpatient mental health facilities, whether they are voluntary or involuntary. These records should be instantly available to the FBI and stored in one FBI database. Currently, at best, these are reported to the NICS system sporadically – or worse yet – not at all!
Require all schools have either SROs, specially trained teachers or armed forces veterans present and fully armed in our schools. It is well documented that those bent on killing large quantities of people stay clear of “gun-free zones.” – not necessarily because they don’t want to die – but because they do not want their death toll diminished because an armed good guy kills them too quickly.
Provide firearms safety training in all public schools – by taking away the curiosity young children have with guns they will learn to respect them and use them safely
Together, legal law abiding gun owners working with their legislators can make our children and innocent people safer in our streets. An armed public, is after all, a polite public and a good guy with a gun is the best protection against a bad guy with a gun.
The Civil War was the most significant war in the history of the United States. A war which would ultimately lead to over 600,000 soldiers and sailors giving, “the last full measure of devotion.” – Abraham Lincoln, the Gettysburg Address. This was a fratricidal war of brother fighting brother, neighbor fighting neighbor and in some cases father fighting son. One of the most significant fratricidal fighting grounds – or battlefields – was Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where for three hot days in July 1863, the Confederate Gray fought the Union Blue in a sanguinary slugging match which ended in a near draw, with CSA General Robert E. Lee blinking first, retreating to Dixie shortly after the guns fell quiet on July 3.
Cushing at Gettysburg
Over those first three days of July 1863, Blue and Gray combined would suffer over 51,000 casualties – of which 7,000 were killed in action or mortally wounded. One of those mortally wounded soldiers was Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing who would fall commanding his artillery battery on Cemetery Ridge. His bravery has been praised since the battle, and written about in many historical narratives.
One of Grey Beard Biker’s favorite narratives of Cushing’s stand at Gettysburg was written by historian Noah Andre Trudeau in his well known, “Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage:”
On crossing the road, Garnett’s (Brig. Gen. Robert B. Garnett) formation was thrown into some disorder after his right regiment, the 8th Virginia, had to divide to get around the Codori farm. As the brigade pushed ahead, musketry blasts exploded from its ranks, many of them aimed at the section of wall harboring Cushing’s two guns. The young officer was struck twice, taking a terribly painful would in his genitals. Despite his pain, Cushing kept monitoring the effect of each shot, calling out corrections all the while. A soldier in the 69th (Pennsylvania) remembered hearing him declare, “‘That’s excellent, keep that range,'” just moments before am infantryman commented that “that artillery officer has his legs knocked out from under him.” Cushing was yelling another order or correction when a Rebel bullet entered his mouth, killing him instantly. Soon after this, his two guns exhausted their supplies, thus creating an inviting chink in the Union line.
At the time of his death, Cushing was 22 years old and in command of Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery. Happenstance brought him to a copse of trees on Cemetery Ridge, the exact focal point of Pickett’s Charge. There he was in command of 110 men manning six artillery tubes. By the time he pushed his 3-inch ordnance rifles to the fence line, based on orders from General Alexander Webb, he only had two functioning rifles left. 150 years after his heroics at Gettysburg, Cushing was awarded the Medal of Honor. Over 3,400 brave souls have received the Medal of Honor – none have waited as long as Lieutenant Cushing: 150 years.
Cushing Medal of Honor Citation:
First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing distinguished himself by acts of bravery above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Artillery Commander in Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery, Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1863 during the American Civil War. That morning, Confederate Forces led by General Robert E. Lee began cannonading First Lieutenant Cushing’s position on Cemetery Ridge. Using field glasses, First Lieutenant Cushing directed fire for his own artillery battery. He refused to leave the battlefield after being struck in the shoulder by a shell fragment. As he continued to direct fire, he was struck again, this time suffering grievous damage to his abdomen. Still refusing to abandon his command, he boldly stood tall in the face of Major General George E. Pickett’s charge and continued to direct devastating fire into the oncoming forces. As the Confederate Forces closed in, First Lieutenant Cushing was struck in the mouth by an enemy bullet and fell dead beside his gun. His gallant stand and fearless leadership inflicted severe casualties upon Confederate Forces and opened wide gaps in their lines, directly impacting the Union Forces’ ability to repel Pickett’s Charge. First Lieutenant Cushing’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty, at the cost of his own life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery, Army of the Potomac and the United States Army.
Lieutenant Cushing, you may have waited longer than any other soldier to receive your Medal of Honor, but it was worth the wait. You will forever be remembered for what you did on Cemetery Ridge, in Gettysburg, on July 3, 1863. Thank you for your service, bravery and intrepidity in the face of overwhelming odds! If it had not been for the stand you made there, the Battle of Gettysburg may have been a turning point for the Confederate States of America instead of the United States of America!
The biker community is perhaps one of the most tightly knit and yet disparate groups you will ever encounter. This is no more evident than the subgroup your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker belongs to – those who ride Harley-Davidsons. While anyone can ride with us, no matter their brand of bike, we tend to fly more with birds of the same color.
This past Saturday, we came together for a memorial ride for our fallen brother, Benny J. Humphrey. We lost Benny two years ago in a single vehicle accident. Because he was on a rural road, riding alone, and no other vehicle was involved, we are all left with nagging questions about what happened. Sadly, these questions will never be adequately answered.
At 43 years old, Benny was taken from us far too early. He and his wife, Sandy, were very visible in the biker community here in middle Tennessee. Everyone seemed to know them, love them and respect them. While I knew Benny and Sandy from seeing them around some of my favorite biker hangouts, I feel saddened that I did not know him better. But that is just plain selfish on my part, as I did know him and so many others never got to know his bigger-than-life personality at all. And Benny was BIGGERthan life!
Benny J. Humphrey Memorial Ride
Saturday’s Benny J. Humphrey Memorial Ride was the second annual incarnation, as yesterday, June 30, marked the second anniversary of his passing. Organized by Benny’s longtime friend, Rob Leuenberger, what started as a simple idea and a small biker get together has grown. Over twenty bikes showed up this year – many sporting two riders – on a day that may well have been the hottest day of the year (Real Feel Temp was 103 degrees!). The youngest passenger was on his very first motorcycle ride and was not old enough to have started middle-school, the oldest was even older than Grey Beard – but not by much! While most of the riders were locals, one came from Southwest Missouri, a distance of over 400 miles!
The ride totaled nearly 100 miles through the backroads of Montgomery, Stewart and Houston counties. It included two ferry rides across the Cumberland River – ending at Benny’s gravesite in Greenwood Cemetery. Sandy could not have picked out a more beautiful final resting place for Benny – or a more appropriate headstone. Rob spoke of his memories of Benny and we celebrated his short life with 2X24s – two 24 ounce cans of beer. Benny was not left out of the celebration as one of the beers was poured on his grave!
As I am sure you have noticed, Grey Beard’s posts here talk about brotherhood more often than sisterhood. But Saturday’s ride, besides being a memorial to Benny, was most importantly about SISTERHOOD. Sandy is our sister. She is part of our family. We can memorialize Benny everyday by remembering our times with him. But Saturday, we came out for Sandy – and her and Benny’s daughter, Simone. They are the ones still mourning the loss of their husband and father! None of us can possibly imagine the everyday pain in their hearts – the times they wish Benny was there when they are missing him – or the times they wish he was there during a special quiet moment to give them a hug or just say, “Everything is going to be okay!” For all of these reasons and more, all of us were there for you on Saturday, Sandy and Simone! May your loss turn to nothing but fond memories of your times with Benny! We felt him with us on Saturday and this Grey Beard Biker is sure you feel him with you each and every day! After all, his LIGHT is shining through each of you, everyday!
In Loving Memory of Benny, the Grey Beard Biker and all of us raise our 2X24s to salute you, brother! May you forever Rest In Peace and be the “Angel Riding With Us” when we throw our legs over our bikes and ride towards the sun!